Governor Schwarzenegger’s office came out with a statement accusing Health Access California of “twisting the facts” and comparing “apples and oranges” about the Governor’s stance on health reform. Carla Maranucci at the San Francisco Chronicle has the back-and-forth. We stand by our statements, and here’s the facts:
Two years ago, as part of his health reform proposal, ABx1 1, the Governor was willing to raise the revenues to expand the same Medicaid program to the same population, and was willing to raise the revenues to do it, with a 50% of the cost paid for by the federal government.
The current health reforms will expand the same Medicaid program to the same population with the federal government paying for 100% of the expansion population for the first several years, and over 80% from the eighth year on. Much of that small cost to the state–much smaller than what the Governor projects–would be offset by savings elsewhere.
This isn’t apples and oranges. The comparison isn’t even apples and apples. We are talking about the very same apple.
To be clear: we support and prefer the House health reform proposal that would provide even more assistance to states, by having the federal government pick up over 90% of the cost of the newly eligible population in the eighth year on. That would be a productive means of advocacy for the Governor, rather than attacking the overall health reform package that would provide a new infusion of billions of dollars in needed subsidies to California families, small businesses, and yes, the state of California.